I see flying pigs – I actually agree with Jeanne Shaheen on something!

by Skip

Flying pigs

I am still shaking my head over this piece in the Union Leader – Jeanne Shaheen agrees with me??? Emphasis mine, reformatted:

A sweet idea: Shaheen attacks sugar subsidies

Give Sen. Jeanne Shaheen points for persistence. Her Senate colleagues have shown little appetite for eliminating subsidies to the sugar industry, but she keeps trying.  Shaheen has once again joined with Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey to introduce legislation cutting back the complicated and costly federal programs that not only drain the federal treasury, but provide incentives to pump high fructose corn syrup into our food.

Support for the sugar program on Capitol Hill shows why it is so hard to repeal subsidies and other special treatment once Congress starts handing out the goodies. Sugar farmers argue that taking away their federal favors will put many of them out of business. They gain far more from the status quo than any individual stands to gain from sugar reform. But aggregating the cost to all taxpayers adds up to $4 billion a year, without even considering the long-term costs of all the extra empty calories. Ending sugar subsidies is one step in reforming America’s antiquated agriculture policy. Another is fixing the crop insurance program – farmers who lose a crop currently get reimbursed based on the harvest prices higher than when they purchased the insurance, with taxpayers picking up the difference.

If farmers can’t compete in the marketplace, they should move on to other businesses.  In the 1980s, I worked in the minicomputer industry – and now it is gone due to the advent of super-workstations (e.g., Apollo) that created “personal minicomputers” for a single person that did most of what the minis could  and the advent of the PC that was WAY underpowered but relatively cheap in comparison with the minis but could do “normal” person stuff that was otherwise really time consuming and a pain in the butt.

Government wasn’t offering any kind of subsidies for MY industry – and really doesn’t for software engineering (in fact, with the use of H1-B visas, the case can be made that Government disadvantages American programmers over cheap overseas replacements).  Nor should it – taxpayer monies shouldn’t be used to prop up anybody for any kind of ideological reason (although for defense purposes, I grudging admit that it is needed in some cases).

Shaheen has also signed on to a bipartisan bill named the Harvest Price Subsidy Prohibition Act, which she says will save taxpayers $21 billion in hidden agricultural subsidies over the next ten years. Farmers would still have access to crop insurance, but would have to pay the full premium. Getting rid of the layers of subsidies built into U.S. agricultural policy would remove the perverse incentives farmers have to overproduce corn and other staple crops. This would open up farmland for fruits and vegetables, bringing down produce prices.

Carving back subsidies would result in a bounty for taxpayers, the environment, and even our diets.

Would Shaheen be willing to be exactly like me on this issue of government subsidies and just adopt the bolded part of that last sentence for ALL industries?  Every area of the private sector?

Naw, she’ll never stop subsidizing that unborn baby killer mill called Planned Parenthood

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